Czech spa industry facing huge losses due to coronavirus pandemic

Photo: Oskar Heiße, Pixabay / CC0

Losses to the Czech spa industry caused by the Covid-19 pandemic could reach up to 50 percent, the daily e15 reported on Monday. The return of Czech spa centres to normal is slowed down by the lack of both domestic and foreign tourists.

Photo: Oskar Heiße, Pixabay / CC0
Illustrative photo: Léčebné lázně Mariánské Lázně, Flickr, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

According to the estimates of the Czech Republic’s Tourism Forum, the number of nights drop by 27 million compared to the previous year. For spa accommodation facilities, it represents a loss amounting to 157 billion crowns.

The month-long absence of income is estimated between CZK 800 million to one billion, Eduard Bláha of the Czech Healing Spa Association told the website.

Despite the easing of restrictions related to Covid-19, many spa hotels remain closed and are not planning to reopen in the near future, because they lack clients.

"The impact on the spa business will be huge. The only question is whether the yearly losses will drop by 20, 30 or 50 percent," says Martin Plachý, head of the company Royal Spa, which operates spa facilities in Marianské Lázně, Velké Losiny, Luhačovice and Ostrožská Nová Ves.

The situation also depends whether the given spa facilities are part of the state healthcare system or whether they depend solely on a foreign clientele and private patients. The Karlovy Vary region in East Bohemia is likely be the hardest hit by the outflow of foreign guests.

"The impacts of the coronavirus pandemic on the spa industry will be very uneven. In Moravia, the return to normal will be the fastest. To the contrary, Mariánské Lázně, Karlovy Vary or Františkovy Lázně will be in a very difficult situation because the share of foreign guests has always been very high.

Martin Plachý, photo: Czech TV

"We opened our hotel in Mariánské Lázně at the beginning of June and the occupancy rate is currently at 25 percent. So the situation is not very good," Mr Plachý told the daily e15.

To support the ailing spa industry, the state agency Czech Tourism renewed its marketing activities in the Czech Republic, Germany, Austria and Slovakia.

Among other things, it focuses on attracting German tourists to spa and wellness facilities in the Karlovy Vary region, which will face the absence of its traditional clientele from Russia and Asian countries.

On Monday, the government approved a compensation benefit for Czech spas for stays lasting for a minimum of six days. Details of the aid package have not yet been unveiled.